Friday animals: Tired bird rests on head, sugar glider reaches for the skies

All I know of this short video is what’s in it: the boat is 16 miles offshore. I don’t know the species of the bird (readers?) nor whether it was migrating. But I’m glad it found a head to rest on.

And here’s a video that’s been made into a great tw**t. This is surely a sugar glider (Petaurus breviceps), a marsupial found in Australia and New Guinea.

h/t: Grania


  1. cyan
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    This once happened to me, too. Miles from the Cape Canaveral shoreline, on a catamaran, a sparrow landed on my leg. Time froze for me; I scarcely dared breathe lest I frighten him away. It was a precious occurrence.

  2. busterggi
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

    Wasn’t that the sugar glider that was crucified and resurrected? Must have been about forty days ago.

  3. grasshopper
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    Sugar gliders are cutesy, and a bit of a pest too.

    Researchers trying to save endangered swift parrots from extinction say lethal possum traps to control predatory sugar gliders “might offer a solution”.

    Dr Dejan Stojanovic and his team from the Australian National University (ANU) recently discovered that sugar gliders were eating approximately half of the adult female swift parrots that nest in mainland Tasmania every year, as well as their eggs and chicks.

    The team is working in eastern Tasmania — the only place in the world where swift parrots breed.

  4. Posted May 12, 2017 at 3:23 pm | Permalink

    16 miles off where? And when? One thing I can say for sure is that the bird is not a Sugar Glider (a marsupial that doesn’t fly any more than a Flying Squirrel). My guess is that the video was made last August or September in the Atlantic Ocean 16 miles off the East Coast of N. America and that the bird is a young (or female) American Redstart, one of the few birds that has those yellow patches on its tail. Warblers and other neotropical migrants often land on boats in the N. Atlantic especially during fall migration.

  5. Michael Fisher
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

    I think that is a bush baby

    Anyway here is an instagram showing it taking off & landing. It should be easy for someone to identify from the landing sequence where we see the very long legs which suggests to me primate bush baby

  6. loren russell
    Posted May 12, 2017 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Yes, a tarsier/bush baby. But holy levitation, Batman!

    And since news about the Highest Primates is all pretty disgusting at the moment, how about the new H. naledi publications. Tiny brains nearly made it!

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted May 12, 2017 at 6:38 pm | Permalink

      how about the new H. naledi publications. Tiny brains nearly made it!

      Alternative take : pretty much as soon as Homo sapiens evolved, they killed off all the competition pretty damned quick. Not necessarily by direct acts of murder – ecological change kills just as effectively.

      • loren russell
        Posted May 12, 2017 at 10:18 pm | Permalink

        But murder/war/genocide/predation speeds up the process. Possibly the naledis were caching their dead in an attempt to put Hsaps on a diet?

        • gravelinspector-Aidan
          Posted May 14, 2017 at 5:04 am | Permalink

          But murder/ war/ genocide/ predation speeds up the process.

          Not disputed.

          Possibly the naledis were caching their dead in an attempt to put Hsaps on a diet?

          The archaeological record is extremely light on evidence for human cannibalism. There is more evidence for mortuary practices including defleshing – having a “Let’s peel Granny” party – but even that is pretty uncommon. At some point in the spectrum from “looks like Granny, don’t eat” disgust to “piggy looks tasty” people lose their reluctance to kill, butcher and eat, but seeing that where it’s available, chimp meat isn’t a common choice, I doubt that sapiens-on-naledi predation was a major problem. Killing for competition-reduction on the other hand, no bets.

  7. Ken Kukec
    Posted May 13, 2017 at 2:24 pm | Permalink

    Male-pattern bird-ness?

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